Politics

Delegating Denver #42 of 56: Pennsylvania

View larger image

Pennsylvania

Total Number of Delegates: 187 Pledged: 158 Unpledged: 29

How to Recognize a Pennsylvania Delegate: No state in the union suffers from poor self-esteem issues more than Pennsylvania. Quaker Staters have played pivotal roles in the history of religious freedom, civil rights and labor laws, and they have every right to be proud of their declarations of independence and their cracked liberty bells. Yet it is Pennsylvania residents who have given the state's two largest cities the nicknames of Filthadelphia and Shittsburgh, and they call the space in between them Pigsylvania. And it's not just the pot-holed roads and the slate-gray skies that make them so moody; it's the food. Pennsylvania is the snack-food capital of America. Besides being the home of Hershey's Chocolate, the state ranks as the nation's leading producer of potato chips. Pennsylvanians make enough potato chips in a year to ruin 80 million diets. It is also home to cheesesteaks, that damn cream cheese everyone loves, Tastykakes, marshmallow peeps and all the Heinz ketchup and relish needed for the mass consumption of hot dogs. This doesn't mean that Pennsylvania delegates will be obese. They get exercise by scraping the ice off their car windows in winter and running from muggers all year long. They're just a "cuppla tree" pounds overweight, so females will wear Studio 1940 Flyaway Layered dresses from Bensalem-based Fashion Bug, and male delegates will wear the Savane Total Comfort No-iron pleated twill pants over Consensus Button-down Chambray Shirts from York-based Bon-Ton Department Stores.

Famous Pennsylvanians: American pioneer Daniel Boone; civil rights pioneer Bayard Rustin; journalists Ed Bradley and Michelle Malkin; actors Nancy Kulp, Will Smith, Tina Fey, Sharon Stone, Richard Gere, Seth Green, Bill Cosby, Grace Kelly and Cheri Oteri; artists Thomas Eakins, Maxfield Parrish, Andrew Wyeth, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Robert Crumb; writers Louisa May Alcott, Rita Mae Brown, Rachel Carson, Gertrude Stein and John Updike; musicians Ethyl Waters, Dean Martin, George Benson, Joan Jett, Teddy Prendergrass, Todd Rundgren, Robert Mothersbaugh and Trent Reznor; musical acts Boys II Men, CKY, the Dead Milkmen, Hall & Oates, the Julianna Theory and Ween; golfer Arnold Palmer; Republicans Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul.

Famous Pennsylvania Democrats: 15th president of the United States James Buchanan; 45th governor Ed Rendell; junior United States senator Bob Casey Jr.; U.S. representatives John Murtha, Chaka Fattah, Allyson Schwartz and Patrick Murphy.

Famous Pennsylvanians With Denver Connections: LoDo street namesake William Larimer Jr.; State Capitol architect Elijah E. Myers; legendary Denver mayors Richard Sopris and Robert W. Speer; wannabe legendary mayor John W. Hickenlooper; wannabe state governor Marc Holtzman; Broadmoor founder Spencer Penrose; Centennial author James A. Michener; Broncos wide receiver Ed McCaffrey; Nuggets head coach George Karl; CBS4 News special projects correspondent Molly Hughes; Castle Rock municipal judge Lou Gersh.

State Nickname: The Keystone State, The Quaker State, The Steel State (official); The Steal State, Shoofly Pieland, Snacker's Paradise (unofficial) Population: 12,440,621 Racial Distribution: 83% white, 11% black, 2% Asian, 4% Hispanic Per Capita Personal Income: $32,044 Unemployment: 6.3%

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Sean Cronin